One would think so but the RAF will now announce the famous Lancaster, Thumper, from 617 (The Dambusters) Sqn. instead of the good old and well loved City of Lincoln. Makes me want to throw the phone down.
Surely, this "re-branding" periodically is a way of paying tribute to different crews, sqns etc every now and again. As far as I recall, the airframe was never City of Lincoln when the aircraft was in service anyhow. Can't see the harm and it certainly isn't the usual cynical, self-serving RAF PR shite.
I personally would like her re-named "Zombie" (408 Sqn RCAF) or "Vicky the Vicious Virgin"; although the latter was a Halifax...!
The more astute amongst you will notice that the 'City of Lincoln' shield and title remains on the starboard side of the nose. Similarly, the PA474 serial remains on the books.
Such repaints are conducted during periodical servicing (when a respray is required anyway). As DavetheApe suggests, the markings are changed to ensure a broad cross section of those squadrons and commonwealth nations who contributed to the war effort are represented over time.
Wasn't the name 'City of Lincoln' used as a salute to the efforts of this part of God's Country in the Lancaster story? Not sure if Lincoln had much to do with the ill-fated Manchester, or later Lincoln, Lancastrian, York or Shackleton aircraft.
As an aside, I was visiting a family friend (same one that gave me the gen on the Vulcan) and the Lanc was displaying nearby... I think it was using a nearby main road as it's waypoint, three times it thundered over our house so low you could see the rivets. Awesome.
I believe that 'City of Lincoln' was bestowed on the Lanc in the very early days of the BBMF to reflect the close connection that the City and County had with the Lanc in particular. Even today, all aircraft based at Waddington display the City's crest and it can be seen on E-3D and Sentinel and presumably will also be added to the RC-135s when they arrive in the next 18 months. Obviously, because they're 'special', 14 Sqn's Shadow's have chosen not to follow suit!
As an aside, I've been lucky enough to fly on PA474 twice and it is a quite incredible experience both in terms of being inside and seeing the reaction of those on the ground as it flies over! Long may she grace the skies!
I'd imagine parts for the engines would be the killer... this was a plane designed and built during 'austerity measures' that we can't even concieve of, so I doubt for the want of a bit of aluminium bent in a specific way it will be game over.
I believe that they used a Shackleton mainspar, it was mentioned in the Haynes owner guide for the Lancaster. Most wartime aircraft weren't expected to last long enough for long term parts to be a problem. I read an article that pointed out that some components would react with each other, different metals etc. Not an issue for a plane that's going to be wrecked after 50 hours flying, more of a problem when they're pushing 70 years.
I like the renaming of the BBMF aircraft, shows how many were involved. Just a shame there aren't as many Lancs, Halifaxes, and Stirlings flying as there are B17s and 25s.